UPDATE: At 11:27 p.m. EST on Tuesday, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov safely landed in Kazakhstan as scheduled. Kelly and Kornienko had spent a total of 340 days in space as part of the International Space Station's one-year experiment.
ORIGINAL: U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and his Russian crew mate ended an unprecedented 340-day stay aboard the International Space Station Tuesday and are headed toward a parachute landing in Kazakhstan.
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"It's a little bittersweet," Kelly, 52, said as he turned over command of the orbital outpost to NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra, one of three men remaining on the station.
Kelly and station flight engineer Mikhail Kornienko blasted off for the first year-long stay in the station's 15-year history on March 27, 2015. They worked with eight different crewmates during their 340-day mission, a record for a U.S. spaceflight.
Accompanying Kelly and Kornienko for the 3.5 hour ride back to Earth is Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov, who has been aboard the station since September. Their Russian Soyuz capsule is due to make a parachute landing in Kazakhstan at 11:25 p.m. EST.